Murals, sculptures, decorative paving, and memorials can all be ways of enhancing trails with art.
by Stuart Macdonald, Chair, National Assoc. of State Trail AdministratorsAugust 17, 2018
Art can celebrate history, as sculptures at National Historic Trail sites. Art can also add richness to the historic elements that have been preserved along with trail corridors. Images of former railroads and the urban past have inspired art along rail trails. Some trails wind through industrial areas where murals add interest to walls and bridges. Art can also bring an element of surprise and unexpected elements along the trail route. Art can be a way of involving more of the community in trails, and schools have also taken on an artistic project for a greenway. Here are some selections from the wide variety of artistic installations on trails across America.
Murals of local history line the Downtown Lakewalk in Duluth, Minnesota, a rails with trail project;
Sculpture on the Mary Carter Greenway along the Platte River, South Suburban Park District, Littleton, Colorado;
Ogden Nature Center’s annual exhibition of artistic birdhouses along its trail system in Ogden, Utah
Salmon sculpture called “Leaper” by Tom Jay, 2003, along Riverside Park trail in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Cut steel sculptural fence interprets natural features along Quad Cities RiverWay at Arsenal Island.